Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

thin hymns - inland

It’s been a long time, long time
I shouldn’t have left you, left you
Without a dope beat to step to
Step to, step to, step to
Step to, step to

Thin Hymns are a gaggle of dudes (and sometimes a dudette!) from Chicago. They kindly sent me 'Inland'; a jilted, yielding song of landscapes, indecisiveness and walking. I love its washes of compression, rural flow and channeling of that timeless, writless AnCo/others sound - as if the instruments weren't played but rather found in meeting.

Thin Hymns - Inland

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Little Power

Alice was weird when we were young. She picked her nose and ate it and used to walk around school mumbling Titanic dialogue to herself.

Now I can see my love for her I know it must have been as blatant as a building behind me, but since she was so inhuman I doubt she even got why I was there. She had so much on her mind it was ridiculous.

We were at her home town and it was sunny. I was eating Malteasers on the grass; she was eating a mint ice-cream. I remember thinking, mint? Yuck! And yet some part of me was ridiculously drawn to the choice of it. I remember a mint green dab of it falling on her.

Planes were going overhead all the time because she lived near the airport. She kept looking up at them.

She looked down and said, ‘Pauly, you’re such a liar.’

She was smiling across at me in the sun. Then she licked the mint green ice-cream with her coral tongue.

I wanted to wave across the sky at her like a birdy.

I looked down at my lap, smiling, saying nothing.

She looked away, at a brick wall at the edge of the field.

We were sitting in the middle.

She looked back. ‘Are you and Fiona married yet?’ she asked.

‘No?’ I said.

‘Do you fancy her?’ she asked.

‘No?’ I said.

We waited and were thinking about things. She was sitting with her knees up, the grass chaff beneath her pink knickers.

I piped up. ‘How did you get that bruise on your leg?’ I asked.

I must’ve sounded like a baby.

‘Darren punched me when we were doing handstands.’ she said.

Darren, I remember thinking. I want to squeeze his head and really hurt him.

‘I like it.’ she said. ‘I like bruises.’ She was looking up at the planes again. ‘I love to have some of them.’

I looked at the bruise. It was yellowed and purplish.


Alice was throwing a tennis ball at me, later. Her game was throwing the ball, then handstand, then back on your feet to catch again.

She spasmed slightly after catching my throw. She had a nervous twitch.

‘Hey.’ she said. ‘Let’s go in there.’

She was pointing to the little power station with ‘danger of death’ written on the side.

The idea of it reminded me of the pylons at the Pelham Nature Reserve in Essex, the absolute death of them. I knew I was going to die.

‘Do you want to?’ she asked.

‘Yeah.’ I said.

I knew I had crossed a line in life and could already feel my body freezing from the current and dying and being on the news.

We walked across the field slowly.

As I walked alongside Alice I felt I might take her in for the last time – her hair and her arms; her eyes and her face. I won’t tell you the colour of these things because they are mine.

She put her trainer up against the mesh fence around the little power station and threaded her fingers into the holes. I saw her fingernails from afar, bitten away.

‘We have to go up together or I’m not doing it.’ she said.

I saw my window.

‘Okay.’ I said, putting my trainer up against the mesh fence.

We climbed slowly up to the top, both staring down at the grey generators, buzzing waspishly.

At the top we put our legs over inside and glanced at each other. Alice looked ridiculously excited.

As we climbed down I got a slight headache. I worried that it might be from the current, hanging in the air, filling us up.

We stood with our backs to the fence and moved around the edge on the gravel. Alice began to laugh. I thought about kissing her.

‘Oi!’ a voice shouted, ‘Oi! What the hell do you think you’re doing?’

I looked up, seeing Alice twitch out of the corner of my eye.

‘Get out of there! Jesus Christ!’

It was a man in a brown Barbour jacket.

‘My life!’

At this point we had begun to climb back up the fence. I looked over at Alice’s bottom. I really didn’t want it to catch on the generator and be electrocuted. I was almost in tears.

We didn’t look at each other as we put our legs over outside.

Andrew Goldspink

nobody here

Thursday, 24 June 2010

new salem - king night

If Salem are the Trinity does that mean John is the Father, Jack the Son and Heather the Holy Spirit?

...Here lies the sublimely brittle intro to Salem's forthcoming King Night. Save your pennies.

Salem - King Night

Sunday, 20 June 2010

universal swimsuit - she's the one (overnight mix)

London's Universal Swimsuit is a remix project like none other. Think less bouncy 4 on the 4loor chillywave and more spike-bombs jabbing downwards in time with eachother like brothers. Give it time though! You may well find the sound of this music to be similar to Panda Bear lying on a bed of spikes.

'She's the One' fits this bill. Beginning like a scratchy glasspaper rendition of the opener to the new Crystal Castles, it ends up a tousling, liquid conditioner of a massage - like practicing wrestling and then chilling out on the leather sofas of your mind.

(kills self)

Universal Swimsuit - She's the One (Overnight Remix)

P.S. Noam at Don't Die Wondering took a look at Universal Swimsuit's comforting and fun remix of Whigfield's Saturday Night.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

party trash - rabid

Shape-shiftin', data-moshin' video from Disaro's Party Trash.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

crypt thing

...meanwhile, somewhere in the UK, Crypt Thing is making instrumental magic that harkens back to Hounds of Hate, amongst others, mixing melancholy wit with genuine rhythmic and harmonic innovation.

One of the nicest things about the short, pithy sketches in the Crypt Thing melange is their titles. They are brilliant. 'Ladies Mountain Bike', for example, paints a brave picture of the aliens-eye-view world the songs sadly ponder. Just vulnerable, vibrant and curt enough, the titles scratch a rough arc in graphite across the instumentals' green graph paper, allowing for play between a single phrase and a musical gesture. In other words, 'Ugly Men' is ugly - a pockmarked, embarassed track; and 'Michael' oddly tender and awkward - it's for someone, as strange and shy as its message might be.

Crypt Thing - Acid Blob
Crypt Thing - Michael

Thursday, 10 June 2010

dunes - handle (demo version)

Ever since this post cropped up on GvsB a while ago I've been continually drawn - almost without realising - towards Dunes' beautifully awkward song 'Handle'. I chucked it on my Alba mp3 player with a diagonal crack across the screen and listened to it on holiday in Scotland multiple times. It's a strange song, changing moods and rhythms at whim; strangely minor yet upbeat and posty-punky. It also has one of the most conflicting intros I've heard in a while: it's emotionally in medias res, (look mum! Imma be literatures!) almost offputtingly so, and yet immediately sexy, vulnerable, and... sandy.

I was, then, crazy-pleased to hear the tune crop up on La Station Radar's latest compilation, which they kindly sent ('cause I was on it) -- but LSR decided to go with an earlier, less polished version which I think has real charm and demonstrates the strength of the song. It's like hearing it in a different dialect. It's lush.

Dunes - Handle (demo version)

mater suspiria vision - ritualz of the crack witches

Gorgeously schlocky video by Cosmotropia de Xam for Mater Suspiria Vision's Ritualz of the Crack Witches.
(via 6 in the Morning)

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

pink priest - endless luv (GR†LLGR†LL Dr3AmS mix)

Track II of Hexes Vol. 1 (remixes, re-imaginings and rapings of various Pink Priest tracks [that you should download now]) is a good example of the work of Denmark's GR†LLGR†LL.
Imagine a humid swamp, or the beginning of Return to Oz, then hover (witch-like, let's be honest) across the sump oil water to a small, dark field of pale, facially wrong couples having nihilistic sex in the murk. It's a really successfully dark track that just crawls centipede-like through its peaty textures up to its cruel orgasm, yet still sounds fresh as fuck.

If you're new to the seductive Witch House baby-genre, Lital at Keyboards is Drunk has a great introductory post here.

Pink Priest - Endless Luv (GR†LLGR†LL Dr3AmS mix)

Monday, 7 June 2010

lashes - never was

A new track from Lashes (a.k.a. tara from Pink Playground). It's effortlessly moody pink gold. It's the sound of opening up to something.

I got a vision of a girl I knew and loved at primary school changing her mind, standing by the grassy alleyway outside her house. That guitar drop tugs us somewhere else.

Lashes - Never Was

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

james ferraro - demon channels

Unbelievably sexy new video from James Ferraro.
(via OESB)

Friday, 14 May 2010


Listening to Charles Free’s music as Taterbug makes me think of that scene from Mister Lonely where, after performing a hammy, warm musical, the cast run through corn fields holding up gaslamps, laughing and singing into the night, to find their friend, Marilyn Monroe, hanging by the neck from a tree. This is where the music of Taterbug takes place – it is the sound of the weathered, faded machinery you find out in woods: rained on, rusty, but still working. It is Ariel Pink squared – not in terms of fidelity, but in terms of sheer emotional murk.

Charles sings over manipulated found tapes, or tapes he’s recorded himself, often with a trying amount of repetition (à la Liars’ ‘This Dust Makes that Mud’), but there is always an instant emotional connection with the snippets he chooses to loop, and with each cycle comes abstract, slight difference, like imagery working itself out in a lucid dream. Charles has “only loose connections” to the Night People label, yet his singular nature makes him even more interesting – like a kid you meet on holiday that does everything differently.

Taterbug - Raw Flower

Saturday, 8 May 2010


Daniel Woodhead of Snakes + Ladders just sent me Phédre's debut EP - free download here. Phédre are estranged cousins that make charming, wooden pop with memorable lines, weirdo vox and clapping, cluttering sounds dug out of a dusty, suspicious chest of a dead relative's attic. Occasionally spacey, mostly grainy, each song displays its fundementals through the red gaze of a botched disposable snap. There's a pleasant whiff of Graffiti Island in places - it's witty without commiting itself.

'Glitter on her Face' is a standout for me, with its Mayfair Set vocal playoff of sweet and creep and its mixture of stodgy, grotty textures.

Phédre - Glitter on her Face

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

new crystal castles

Not sure how long these'll be up for - but here's a taste of two of the best new tracks leaked from the new Crystal Castles album. There seem to be two different strains of song - 'Empathy' being of the modernised, melodic kind and 'Doe Deer' being of the more scuzzy persuasion. I've banned myself from listening to the lot, although there's shit-loads out there. It's exciting. UPDATE: NEVERMIND

Friday, 16 April 2010

virgo rising

Sydney's Virgo Rising are the first band I've heard in a while that have that sense of temperature that MBV has - kind of, walking into the shade after a long while and realising your skin, your hair, and your head are really hot. That kind of holiday heat that zones you out blissfully yet is also uncomfortable, has a sense of the deadly, of sunstroke in the air.

'Sugar' is a great, diving track that washes through its colours with a similar sense of caramalised, burning heat. The guitars are so well controlled and flickering that they demand a backseat for the vocals, but instead of just making things plainly 'textural' it almost forces a sadomasochistic drunkness onto the two. Quality shoegaze from a criminally underrepresented band.

Virgo Rising - Sugar

all saints day

Some people have bashed Gregg Foreman and Kickball Katy's new project on the head with slightly negative criticism, but I'm a bit in love with it TBH.

What is strange is the amount of times new music of this kind that has clearly learnt from shoegaze but isn't actually it, gets blamed for being a 'Swirlies/MBV/whatever you like rip-off'. It's as if certain melodies aren't allowed.

I'm really excited by this track. Katy's vocals are like lovely, sanded, chamfered pinewood - perfectly unlike Cassie's - it's like when you heard the Breeders for the first time and began to understand Kim Deal's musical logic in a private sense - it's a spatial shift.

All Saints Day - It'll Come Around

Friday, 5 March 2010

hocus tocus

Brighton's Hocus Tocus are a cool find, with their post-Wavves faffing around coalescing into a listenable blend of influences that, like a colour wheel or a number machine, end up equalling purple, as opposed to red.

The breathy, grit-toothed, under-the-mix vocals of 'So Fast' are a sweet contrast to the ice-cream scoops of crunch guitars and ploppy drum samples on top. They've got a a live jam up that sounds excitingly Liarsy, (did anyone get Sisterworld btw?) and there is a kind of lenient compression on their tunes that is just purple, like the purple bit of a pair of white, purple & green nikes that were stored near to the exercise bike in that house*.

Hocus Tocus - So Fast

You know?

Sunday, 21 February 2010

pink playground

Don't know if you noticed the REBRANDING at all. Hopefully I will now attract a higher level of clientele, like Amber Lamps. (Some research is required to understand that whole meta-meme fiasco, unless, like me, you are a hideous geek.)

Houston's Pink Playground are a real find; totally beautyed-out and travelled, seemingly from nowhere, and with a strength of production and control of songwriting that is actually slightly unfair. Their songs are gusts of wind and optimistic change; considered, heavy washes of colour as breathily out-of-body as they are sonically forceful. I'm completely in love with 'Sunny Skies', amongst others: it finds itself diving into a sea of Swirlies rhythms with classic shoegaze vibes.

The Poetry:
Sounds like a girl turning her head away from you, then towards you, superimposed on various overexposed imagery: a bush of carnations at the end of a garden; the sights from the window of a silver Austin Montego (but you never see the car) on the way to an emotionally off-kilter house; eyes.

Pink Playground - Sunny Skies

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Bridgetown Records Winter Sampler



Kevin Greenspon of Bridgetown Records sent me - with kindness and a presumption of my own writing abilities (I have none and this is how i stand out) -

Actually, hey! Welcome back! 2010! Woop!

He stares drunkenly at the corner, then looks up. A dark face watches from the window.

-a little package of joy in the form of a Winter Sampler of some of the heavy flow Bridgetown is putting out in 2010. Let's begin.


Nicole Kidman - West Covina, California's Jon Barba - is kind of the Trash Humpers of music. Emotionally taut, with shines of Moldy Peachesian confession, but driven by an angrily rotten aesthetic that turns pop snagginess into fascinating scrappy journal pages, handed round the classroom in any order. In stand-out superfun no. Miley is Awesome, NK assumes the role of Cyrus defender and achieves an anti-intellectual, infantile honesty.

Nicole Kidman - Woman Overload (Malice)

Listen ~ Nicole Kidman - Woman Overload (Malice) (with Kevin Greenspon)

Ohio's Cloud Nothings crash into the dining room with so much to say, yet still manage to tailor punk crunch into some friendly and beautiful vocal phrases. It's a trampled, trampy, urgent swagger that recalls Bitters' irrestible cave pop efforts of yesteryear.

Cloud Nothings - Can't Stay Awake

Trudgers' first CDR as a fully-fledged band band (with members of Norse Horse, No Paws (No Lions) and Dollchimes) is to be released by Bridgetown, and it seems that there has been no drop in quality at all from a band that explores such black worlds with no recognisable fear whatsoever. 'For Marc' is an exceptional lesson in being walked to the back of the garden and shown something hideously dark you have never seen before. 'Nothing Perfect Ever' is another great track; with a heady, romantic drone. Sickly and hypnotic.

Trudgers - Wait For You

Vehicle Blues' tour-bus shoegaze is a colourful experience of just-woken-up vibes. 'Subway Riders' is a great distorto-crystalisation, and 'Punks on Transit' is so what is says on the tin its humbling. A kind band.

Vehicle Blues - Punks on Transit

RIP Jay Reatard